Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Please Don't Piss on the Rug

Does it occur to anyone else that the most rabid champions of free speech are also the most grievous abusers of that privilege? It's as if they believe that freedom of speech exists for the sole purpose of allowing them to engage in the most offensive behavior possible, while protecting them from the logical and just consequences of that behavior. Nowhere is this more in evidence than the world wide web, where, thanks to relative anonymity, people are already less inclined to follow otherwise ingrained social conventions.

You may be wondering what has prompted me to address such a complex and hotly contested issue as freedom of speech. I wonder at the folly of it myself. But some recent experiences have made it somewhat of a thorn in my side, and coincidentally, today I ran accross a Blog entitled "Censorship by Blogger". I won't link it, because I refuse to be the vehicle through which he recieves the attention he so obviously craves, but you can find it easily enough if you are so inclined. His claim is that blogger de-indexed his blog because it was (ostensibly) politically offensive.

He opines that Blogger Administrators and Staff members are too slow-sitted to identify any but the most clearly profane or offensive blogs, and too obtuse to distinguish the many shades of gray that arise with with such subjective issues. Likewise, blog readers. He strenuously objects to the presence of the flag button on that premise. I find it puzzling that someone so vehemently opposed to bureaucratic aegis, also opposes self-policing. I would be curious to know how he proposes that an entity such as Blogger insure the integrity of its domain? Or does he think that they should simply let their investment of time and money be defiled by people who can't be bothered to behave themselves in someone else's house?

And that's how I see it, frankly. If someone invites you into their home, and you promptly piss on the rug, then they are quite justified in asking you to clean it up. They are equally justified in asking you to leave and never come back. Unless you have paid for the privilege of pissing on the rug, (I understand some folks enjoy that sort of thing) your rights have not been infringed upon.

It's surprising that someone so well acquainted with and fiercely protective of the tenets of the first amendment, does not understand that with freedom, comes responsiblity. If we cannot exercise our freedoms wisely, then we are bound to lose them, one by one, through nobody's fault but our own. Who after all, wishes to live in a society with no standards of behavior or decorum? Nobody. Not even those who demonstrate contempt for them. In fact, they eagerly exploit them without demur when it serves their purpose. I'd be willing to bet that Mr. Blogger Censorship's comments are moderated.

To be fair, he is not the only one guilty of this. You can find people just like him on every web community, blogsite, and gaming venue that's out there. They move in, readily accepting the privileges and hospitality extended to them, often free of charge. Like bad houseguests, they make themselves comfortable, put their feet up on the furniture, eat the food in the refrigerator, neglect to replace the toilet paper, leave a ring in the bathtub, and yes...piss on the rug.

When asked to amend their behavior, they become outraged, indignant, insulting. They claim their rights have been denied them. They claim that since there was no rule against pissing on the rug when they got there, they have been unfairly admonished. In retaliation, they escalate their boorish behavior, and when, quite naturally they are then asked to leave, they declare that they were the life of the party. To prove this point, they endeavor to lure other guests away with any means necessary, including slander and libel. So wrapped up are they in the drama and their starring role in it, that they fail to hear the collective sigh of relief when at last they are gone and the door barred behind them. The rest of party goers quietly clean up the mess on the rug, and resume merrymaking.

Freedom is truly a wonderful thing. Mr. Blogger Censorship has the freedom to leave if he is unhappy with the service, the rules, or the format. He can find another place where pissing on the rug isn't against the rules. And yet, he remains here, which probably means that pissing on the rug is a privilege that doesn't come cheap. But, as we all know, there is no publicity like bad publicity and I have to wonder if perhaps that is why, despite his tantrum, they haven't kicked his contentious butt to the curb. I find the irony of that quite delicious...don't you Mr. Blogger Censorship?

I have no answers as to how we should define free speech. But I do know its absolutely worth defending. I also know that those who invoke it most, usually deserve it least. There are places in this world where political dissidents are still put to death. Perhaps a trip to one of those far flung places would put things into proper perspective for Mr. Blogger Censorship.


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